A New 3D-Printed Carbon Fiber Composite Case and an Upgraded Mechanical Altimeter Takes The Oris ProPilot Altimeter to Greater Heights

I think it’s safe to say that we’re past the initial shock and awe moments from the first couple of days of Watches & Wonders. As we all digest the barrage of releases, the next day or so is my favorite because now we really get to sift through each and every novelty to discover the watches that may have been overshadowed by the preliminary excitement. To look past the first glass case surrounded by all the fancy lights and signage to find the brand’s deep cuts from this year’s showing. Oris came out of the Watches & Wonders gates in a playful way by featuring their ProPilot x Kermit Edition, but a more serious, utilitarian ProPilot that has legitimate expedition-watch chops has also garnered some of our attention. Compared to its ProPilot predecessor, it’s significantly lighter and capable of pushing to greater heights – it’s the new ProPilot Altimeter.

The Oris ProPilot Altimeter confidently stands as the only wristwatch at Watches & Wonders, and the world, to utilize an integrated mechanical altimeter. By way of some ingenious engineering and a series of numerals and markers located within the segmented dial cut-outs, as well as a metric scale (either feet or meters depending on the reference you opt for) on the rehaut, an accurate reading of your current altitude can be read. The crown at 4 o’clock signed with an “ALT SET” wordmark manages the entire altimeter system. Unscrewing the crown activates the altimeter by allowing air to enter the case. Once the internal scale is adjusted to a referenced air pressure, the ProPilot Altimeter will accurately display your current altitude via the yellow two-bar indicator and absolute pressure via the single red bar indicator. As the crown is returned to position one, the watch is set to measure any change in altitude by adjusting to varying external air pressure.


This is just one of the innovative features about the Oris ProPilot Altimeter. Figuring out a system that allows a mechanical altimeter to synergistically operate with an automatic mechanical movement was no easy task, which is why there is no other watch out there like the ProPilot Altimeter. By creating a second dial and layering it underneath the movement, Oris was able to separate both mechanical systems. As it is currently constructed, the ProPilot Altimeter is able to read a max altitude of 6000 meters, or 19,700 feet, which is an upgrade from the 4,500 meters that its steel predecessor was capable of.

ProPilot Altimeter Manufacture Magic

The ProPilot Altimeter also features a new 3D-printed carbon fiber composite case in partnership with 9T labs, a Swiss high-tech firm based in Zurich. This isn’t the first time Oris has messed around a 3D printed case using a carbon fiber material, and it surely seems like it won’t be the last. It’s a welcomed update in a couple of ways. Firstly, the lightness of the material  paired with a PVD coated titanium fixed bezel, caseback and crown-set, makes for a lighter case (70 grams less to be exact) and as a result, counteracts the sizable 47mm wide case body. Secondly, Oris has found a way to shave off a millimeter in case thickness. Does this equate to a more wearable experience? Well if you compare it to the OG’s thicker 47mm steel case, then I think so.

Another minor knock on the steel version of the Oris ProPilot Altimeter was the Calibre 733’s 38 hour power reserve. Well that is no longer an issue for the ProPilot Altimeter being that the slimmer Calibre 793 slips into the thinner case and is equipped with an upgraded power reserve of 56 hours. The case is rated up to 100 meters of water resistance and if you have concerns about the unscrewed altimeter adjusting crown letting moisture in, you can rest easy because Oris has equipped the crown system with a patented venting crown and a PTFE vapor barrier. Just don’t go jumping into any body of water with that crown unscrewed, not that anyone would have a reason to.

The updated ProPilot Altimeter is a part of a consistent theme I’ve observed from the brand. They’ve won our hearts with their vintage-inspired pieces such as the Divers 65 and their Big Crown Pointer Date. But it’s the risk-taking and contemporary direction that the company has recently taken that is going to firmly establish the brand for another 119 years. If the ProPilot x Kermit symbolizes not to take life too seriously, then the ProPilot Altimeter is a symbol to take Oris’ ability to innovate and things out of the norm, seriously.

The Oris ProPilot Altimeter delivers on a green textile strap and is accompanied with matching PVD coated titanium hardware in the folding clasp. The Oris ProPilot Altimeter retails for 6,200 CHF and is currently available directly through Oris.

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.